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B&W Nautilus
17 Reviews
rating  4.53 of 5
MSRP  60000.00
Description: <li>High Frequency: 2 domed units of anodised aluminium 50mm and 25mm in diameter <li>Mid-range/high frequency: 100mm flat-fronted unit <li>Bass: A 9.5kg (21lbs) magnet with a 100mm (4in) voice coil acts as the massive motor of the 300mm (12in) bass unit


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Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jake Purches a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I was lucky enough to work on the team with Laurence Dickie back in the 1990s when he was developing the Nautilus Loudspeaker. It was such a game changer that B&W didn't really know what to do with it for years. It was just too good, making their current range seem mediocre by comparison. However Laurence Dickie has not been resting, he has spent the last 20 twenty years refining the Nautilus at his new company Vivid Audio. The Vivid Audio is a highly evolved and refined Nautilus, using exactly the same concepts, but this time TWO 12 inch bass drivers not one, in reaction cancelling format, and with reaction cancelling ports too. All tubes are hidden inside the large tear drop tube cabinet, with a curl at the top echoing the Nautilus snail feature. Again, the cabinets and tubes remove totally all rear radiation, and this time his drivers are neodymium magnet powered rather than ceramic magnets as used in Nautilus. The domes are vastly more rigid with a fraction of the mass and the whole system is so sensitive it can run on a 15 watt amplifer - or a 800 watt monster if you prefer. With a greater than 120 db dynamic range the Vivid leaves the Nautilus in its wake. B&W Had to keep up the production of Nautilus because of Vivid. A great compliment, but both systems were created by the same man... Judge for yourself.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by paganchief a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Unlike almost everyone else here, not only have I actually listened to these speakers, but I have owned them for a couple of years now. They are the main Front speakers in a system that uses 4 B & W Nautilus 801s as Sides and Rears, B & W HTM centre channel, and the Krell Master Reference Subwoofer. Amplification in this system is from 13 Krell 650W Monoblocks - 8 of these are for the snail-shell Nautilus, which differs from most other speaker designs in that it is active: the crossovers come in a separate box, split the signal, and pass it to each amplifier. 4 drivers per Nautilus = 4 monoblocks per speaker.

The Nautilus also come with their own, silver-stranded speaker cable, about 8ft long. No need to shell out $20k for high end speaker cable, although the interconnects to 2 crossovers and 8 amps reduces this saving.

I am a serious audiophile, it is a life long passion. When purchasing my system, I was lucky enough to have the choice of anything. I bought the Nautilus because, quite simply, they are the best speakers in the world. Others cost more, none sound better.

One consequence of the design is that reflections from the wall behind the speaker are not an issue: mine are in front of a large expanse of glass.

They take a lot of driving, hence the 650W monoblocks. This is not a speaker to connect to 15W valve amps! However, this is no party speaker - I have blown 2 tweeters at high but not extreme listening volumes.

The Nautilus 801s, on the other hand, can take all the punishment I give them and then some - this speaker, although also expensive, is better value for money. A wonderful cross between an audiophile monitor and a PA speaker. By comparion, the snail shell Nautilus has a sweeter treble, less colouration, and better dynamics and detail resolution.

These speakers are a work of art, a triumph of both aesthetic and acoustic design. If you have the money, you will not regret this purchase. Mine are piano-gloss black, and need frequent dusting; the silver ones look mad too.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $80000.00

Purchased At:   Melbourne



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Colin Crown a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is the best of the best.. There is nothing better.. You can try to look but there really isnt.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $50000.00

Purchased At:   B&W Retail store in



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Dan a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2002

Bottom Line:   
ok, how can anything sound life like? i mean, how can you compare these to a concert experience? When your at a concert, they use speakers tens of times cheaper, so it must be easy to reproduce. as for singing and orchestra recordings and stuff, no ones PA gear is gonna record the sound the exact way it occured. So forget listening to speakers that make it seem like the person is in the room with you. Just a thought, otherwise, its dam good sound. very very very very good. i dont need to say anymore, i dont own it either, jsut listened to them

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I am writing to defend B&W for making such an excellent speaker. I work at a high end audio store and have sold these speakers. Simply put it is the best speaker I have ever heard and I have heard quite a few high end speakers but that is just my opinion. When it comes to audio everyone has their own opinion and some will defend it rather harshly. No two people will hear things exactly the same, yes it will be very close but we all will come to different conclusions about what sounds good. That is exactly why there are so many different speaker manufacturers and audio companies in the world today. Personally I love these speakers. I have never heard anything sound so smooth and detailed. Reading other reviews on this speaker was entertaining. Yes we could spend money on other things, even other people, but why aren't you people bashing Ferrari and musical instrument companies that sell super high end products? If I had the money to buy these speakers I would.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $60000.00

Purchased At:   Sold at Custom Elect




Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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